So here you have it, this is THE BMW, and yes, it’s as incredible as you could wish for, or is it? The previous generation BMW M5 has a 5-litre V10 engine that was naturally aspirated. It really was a possessed road car that was born on a track somewhere. But due to some of […]
Powered by a relatively small engine, the Honda Brio has a 1.2-litre 3-cylinder motor. It produces 65kW, and does pretty well in and around town. It’s a comfortable city car with ample power. It needs some encouragement when you’re going uphill, and it can negatively impact your fuel economy.
With such a small engine, economy is very impressive. On an open road keeping to reasonable speeds we were able to get it to below 5 l/100km, which went up when in town doing a lot of stopping and starting, but even there we managed to keep it below 7 l/100km. Economy suffers when you do a lot of mountain roads, as the 1.2-litre engine needs to be pushed quite hard.
Small cars are notorious for their lack of handling and road holding. The Brio is interesting though, it’s a combination of planted on the road and twitchy. The overall feel is solid, and it holds well on the road, but when you’re driving slowly taking a corner, the steering can be erratic and slightly twitchy. You quickly get used to it though, and the lightness of the steering makes the car easy to drive.
The Brio is comfortable, cloth seats on the inside that strike a good balance between being firm but not hard. The Brio’s suspension is excellent too, providing a good ride through the bumpy surfaces we have to live with. Interior cabin noise is very low, so you can have a conversation while driving 120km/h on the highway.
Practicality is sacrificed for size. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. The Brio doesn’t do too badly though. The front is spacious, comes with a couple of storage compartments and some legroom. The back a little less so, although it’s fine for kids, and you could even get adults in the back for a short trip. The boot is tiny though, and only the glass window opens. Two or three bags in the boot tops!
Despite being brown, the quality of the materials used to build the Brio is good. Honda left the Tupperware at home and brought some solid durable plastics. The exterior of the car is more of the same. Well built and put together. The panels all match and line up nicely, nothing fell off while we were testing, and nothing felt like it was about to fall off either.
Honda have tried hard with the styling of the Brio, and they’ve managed to do a decent job of it. The lines are good, and the way the car slopes forward is very cool. From just about any angle the Brio looks great. Inside it’s quite nice too, except for the brown insets they use. The dash is neatly designed, and the instrument cluster suits the design of the car.
Inside the Brio you’ll find all the basics you need. There is an aircon, electric windows, power steering and a radio that takes USB or Aux.
All in all the Honda Brio is a nifty little car. It’s cheap to own, cheap to run, but it’s not a cheap car. It’s got the feeling of a bigger car. It’s a great drive, and a cool looking fun car.